The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fayette village council 8.6

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEEN

Fayette has nearly 2.8 miles of good sidewalk in the village and an additional 10 miles of either substandard walk or no walk at all.

That’s what a recent survey of village streets determined, pointing out that more than 75 percent of the town is without usable sidewalks.

“The community has voiced a lot of concern about sidewalks,” village administrator Amy Metz said at the July 28 council meeting.

People have volunteered to provide labor to build sidewalks, she added.

In addition to some free labor, the village might also get some financial assistance through a pair of grant programs.

Audra Roesti, a cardiovascular health educator with the Fulton County Health Department, told council members about a grant program through the Healthy Ohio organization that could bring in up to $75,000, including a 10 percent match from the village. The village contribution could include labor.

The funds originate with the Ohio Department of Health and the grant request must be filed through the county health department.

Roesti suggested the village apply through a “targeted environmental change to enhance physical activity.” In this case, good sidewalks would encourage more physical activity for town residents.

Roesti presented information about the physical state of Ohio residents—35 percent overweight, 28 percent obese—and pointed out that the lack of physical activity is a contributing factor. This often leads to cardiovascular health issues.

Roesti would like to include her grant request with an application to the Safe Routes to School program that could bring in funds for sidewalk repair and installation.

Metz told councilors that a cost estimate to install and repair walks throughout the village was pegged at $588,000, based on an estimated cost of $11 a running foot for a four-foot wide walk. A contingency fee of $58,800 would cover other costs, such as removing trees and adding an aggregate base, where necessary.

The estimate also doesn’t include the removal of old walks that need replacement.

Council member Ruth Marlatt asked if the Healthy Ohio grant is renewable, since it would fund only a small portion of the work needed.

There are no guarantees, Roesti said, but her intent would be to make it renewable.

Community support for the project would increase Fayette’s chances of obtaining a grant, she said. For example, churches might pledge support to be responsible for the walks along their property, and service groups could make a financial pledge.

Council members gave Roesti permission to apply for the grant and also approved a recommendation from the Public Safety committee to create an ordinance for a sidewalk enhancement fee.

A fee of $2.50 a quarter would bring in about $5,000 a year, said committee member Jerry Gonzales, to be placed into a fund to cover the village’s 10 percent contribution to the grant program. Gonzales wants the fee contingent on receiving the grant.

The fund would allow the sidewalk project to continue year after year, said councilor Paul Shaffer.

In other sidewalk news, the village repaired walks that were damaged from waterline repair.

SEWER REPAIR—Councilors voted 4-2 to approve the repair of a sewer line on Eagle Street that washed out during a heavy rain in early July.

Council accepted a bid from Armstrong Excavating for the repair work, not to exceed $6,000, and for the purchase of aggregate materials from Custar Stone, not to exceed $6,200.

Armstrong’s bid was the lower of two received, but Craig Rower and Paul Shaffer voted against the measure.

Rower explained later that he would have preferred that three bids were taken instead of two. Shaffer said he was opposed to the motion because the work was already completed by the time council voted on the issue. He also would have preferred three bids.

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